So many times in history we've promised, "never again." The Holocaust... "never again." Yet it happens daily in places like Darfur, and no one stops it. Still we believe we mean it when we say "never again." Even in the face of millions of dead, we stubbornly maintain we really, really mean, it... "never again."
And when we defeated fascism in Europe 63-years ago, we promised we'd never allow such a political monstrosity to rule another nation. We said we learned the dangers in the methods employed by the fascist state and fascist politicians. The lies, the smears, the strong-arm tactics, the rule of ignorance and prejudice over intelligence, reason and liberal social policies. Our parent's generation saw fascism for what it was, defeated it and pledged, "never again."
And we still say, "never again," even as once again we see it, or at very least, it's footprints, all around us.
Nevertheless, it's dangerous for any serious commentator to even suggest that fascism has made a comeback -- not in Europe, but here in the good ole US of A. A few commentators have taken the risk and been promptly and unceremoniously relegated to the wilderness along with UFO enthusiasts and 9/11 conspiracy theorists.
Well, I'm packed and ready for that trip. What pushed me over the edge was a five chapter guide written in 1933 entitled, "Propaganda and National Power: The Organization of Public Opinion and National Politics."
As I read this remarkably disturbing document I couldn't help but imagine that Karl Rove must have used it as blue print in 2000 and 2004. And, that the Republican Party has now so internalized these principles they no longer know how to run a campaign the old fashioned way -- you know, by highlighting real issues, and comparing and contrasting honest differences of opinion without demonizing, smearing and outright lying about their opponents.
In any case the GOP seems to be following the 1933 how-to document below down to its finest points. Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, surrender Democrats who would rather lose a war to win an election, Obama as a secret Muslim, on and on, down and down into a political milieu Goebbels would have found all too familiar.
Today's GOP would make Ike throw up.
Anyway, enough from me. After all, I'm toast now. Take it from the original (fascist) horse's mouth. Maybe I'm wrong about all this. But there sure is a lot in what follows you will find unsettlingly familiar. Just keep all this in mind as you watch and listen to how the GOP operates during this election. They you decide. Is it still "never again?" Or is just "again.?
(My annotations - few and blessedly short - are in ( parenthesis)
Propaganda and National Power:
The Organization of Public Opinion for National Politics
by Eugen Hadamovsky: Pub: 1933
T o the master of political propaganda, Dr. Joseph Goebbels
under whose brilliant leadership the neglected weapon of German politics became a creative art.
- Liberalism and its offspring, Marxism, are intellectually and organically finished... If the nation is to live, liberal phrases must also die. Attempts to establish liberalism's principle of universal freedom have endangered everyone's life. Its dogmas about "public opinion" produced division and weakness in the national will.. But now the end has come. ...The slogan of the freedom of public opinion must be buried without tears.
- Historical and contemporary examples show that the means of public opinion can endanger or destroy national unity if they are improperly used or controlled by the enemy. ...Propaganda is the will to power; it is always subsidiary to an idea. If the idea is missing, the whole artificial structure collapses. Idea, propaganda, and power are inseparably connected.